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Lowell Mill Girl Letters

Letter from Emma Clough to Laura Rowell, Sabbath Morn, May, 185[?]

Lowell, Sabbath morn

Dear cousin Laura

I now seat myself to write you a few lines as I promised. I came down here to Lowell last Tuesday, and have had a grand time ever since I have been here. I was home sick before I came down here but ever since I have been here I have not been home sick a toll. And I do not I could very well if I should try ever so hard there is something a going on to attract my attention all of the time. I board on Decatur Street at the Morrisons a very nice place indeed. Aaron & his wife and two little girls the family consists one of the little girls has red hair and it curls all around her head and it looks sweetly I tell you. They have got two little kittens that are just a getting there eyes open I believe you have heard about such ones before

I have commenced going to school at the Grammar School I commenced last Thursday I like very much so far I had to buy all new books which came to over five dollars Greenleafs Arithmetic Browns Grammar National Reader Mitchels Geography and Atlas Worchesters Dictionary Spelling Book Singing Book History & that was there not a pile of them? They have to have just so many to go to the Grammar School. We have a piano in the School and there is a music teacher that comes in twice a week and haves us sing I have not commenced taking music lessons yet but intend to this week Father said he would send my piano down for me to practice and I am expecting it every day you cannot think how glad I am to think I am a going to have my own piano to practice on.

I had my dresses cut yesterday and the lady came in and tried it on last night and it set beautifully I am having it cut with a deep yoke in them pleated and a belt it looks real pretty. I will tell you they have a great many cut so now. When I went down to Manchester Tuesday we got down there real early so I had about two hours to stay up on the street so I went round to all the places I want to and then went back to the Temperance house, And then I had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Avery and Mary Norris went down to the depot with me in his coach and when we got there I asked him how much I should pay and he said he would take it next fall when I come round.

I suppose that Samuel has reached you ere this as he wrote last Sabbath and I suppose it has been answered back before now has it not? of course it has why need I ask. I expect father & mother down there monday or tuesday I do hope they will come for I want to see them how I do want to see [B----?] What day are you a coming down here to go to school with me you just and tell me which and I will be at the depot to meet you now I hope you will come for we will have such great times together and I think you would like the School although I have no doubt but what you would go right in to the High school but I have got two or three more letters to write to day so I think I must close. Give my very best love to Uncle & Aunt Emily & Alden and keep just so much yourself as you want

Emma Lizzy Clough


[*Have you seen any pigs or chickens lately*]

[*did you see the [?] when you come by*]

[*I want to see some body almost [?bly] *]


Envelope Transcription:

Miss Laura F. Rowell 

West Amesbury


[Mail stamp in upper right corner reads PAID Lowell Mass. May 16]


Letter from Emma Clough to Laura Rowell, Sabbath Afternoon, 1855

Lowell Sabbath Afternoon 1855

Dear Laura

Agreeable to your request do I sit down to answer your kind letter which arrived safely here nit long since. I was very happy to hear from you again. & wishing to be happy again I thought I would write an immediate answer I have been to meeting this forenoon had a grand meeting & grand Singing. I think your journey home must have been very ardious most of the way-it was too bad you had to wait so long in Lawrence. Haverhill I wish you could have had that time with us (Dont you?)

I have commenced another term of school the school is very large much larger than last term – two hundred & Thirty five belonging I believe Mr. [B?] has his hands full to keep order with so many. I did not whisper last week and I am not going to whisper this term if I can help it he asks every one who have whispered and who have not and those not have whispered have to wait until all the rest are gone. I am going to try and not be absent too if I can but I expect every day when I shall be sick then I shall have to stay at home

I have been to meeting this afternoon & had a grand meeting. Singing revives me. Stevens has been up to New Boston to make a visit since you were here he had a grand time he said. He went up one Thursday & came back the next Wednesday. He saw Sam there and a hanging round just the same as ever. Did you ever see such a thing to hang round Dear me I never did get so sick of any one as I did him. I thought he never would go away from here (Did you?) Steven saw Jennie Gregg she is the same old [?] I had a letter from her a week or two ago I believe it was the fourth one she had written to me tho since I had written to her so I thought I would answer this one so I sent an answer by Steven. She sent me a present of a Gold ring a very pretty one indeed very kind in her I think “Dont you?” I had a letter from Hattie last Tuesday she had got quite smart then and was in hopes of soon being better she got so much better that the Doctor told her that she might eat anything she pleased so she went had ate some Beef Steak and it hurt her & caused relapse of the Fever so the day that Steven she was a great deal worse than she had been & I have not heard anything from her since I am very anxious to hear from her – think some of writing to her – so might

Mother is sitting here and says tell your mother she is expecting her up [?] says if she will come up they will go to Boston together she says she would write a little but been to meeting all day & has got quite a dreaful head –ache. she likes here on account of the meeting very much she went and had a Grand meeting last Sabbeth morning

It being the last Evening of the year they had a Watch meeting which lasted until twelve Oclock. She & Father went and stated and heard the two Sermons. Mother has been in to see the Candy man again and got more then she will eat for a week. Says she would send you good piece in the letter if she could. I have found a pair of Stockings which I suppose are yours I did not see them untill after you had written – there is no way I know of sending them to to you at the present time without it is by Express – I have not been in to the New Depot lately I think of going in soon. Oh, Laura I went to a ball New Years night & if I did not have a grand time. I had a altitutatiously good time. and I went to another cotillion party last Wednesday Evening and had a grand time but my page is about full so I think it is about time for me to close – now I have been so good to write such a good long letter please be so kind & cordially as to write immediately.




Written on edge pages 1 and 4

[*Please give my best regrets to Charles and tell him he must fulfill his promise that I [?] ask him if he does not need some more oysters if he does tell him Leonards is the place I here had some a number of times since you you were here down to Frenches Salon once since you were here they were great but I do not think they were as great as those were at Leonards.*]

Written on edge page 2

[*I am very thank full for a lock of your hair & also for Charleys – please thank him for me for being so kind as to send me a lock of his - I think you fixed it very tastefully indeed. Give my love to your Mother [S?] sent his love to you he has had a letter from California lately he wants to go out there very much indeed*]

Written on edge page 3

[*All the children send their love to you - come up again cousin if you can*]

Written on edge page 4 and 3

[*I wanted Father brought me a Silk dress at Boston for a Christmas Present I would gladly send you a piece – but I have not got it made yet & I cannot cut it very well but perhaps I shall get it cut by the next time I write then you shall have a piece of it*]



Miss Laura F. Rowell

West Amesbury 


[Mail stamp in upper right corner reads PAID Lowell Jan 9]




Clough, Emma Lizzy.  Letter to Laura Rowell.  May 16, [185?].  Box 17A, Folder LF .C6253, Lowell Files Collection, Vertical Files, Center for Lowell History, University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Clough, Emma Lizzy.  Letter to Laura Rowell. Jan 9, 1855.  Box 17A, Folder LF .C6253, Lowell Files Collection, Vertical Files, Center for Lowell History, University of Massachusetts Lowell.